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Dinner on Mount Pleasant or Bayview

Attknee Jan 10, 2007 10:10 PM

I have the responsibility of arranging a dinner for four this Saturday and I thought I would try a restaurant on Mount Pleasant or Bayview south of Eglinton. I have been to Celestin and do not wish to return. What are the best places? A broad range of cuisine, including fish, would be best.

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  1. e
    embee Jan 10, 2007 10:34 PM

    I like Smalltalk on Bayview, though it is inconsistent. At a higher price point, you could try Jov.

    On Mt Pleasant, I'm not familiar with the current incarnations of most places, but you might be happy with Zee Grill.

    1 Reply
    1. re: embee
      TorontoJo Jan 11, 2007 02:05 PM

      I second the rec for Zee Grill. Really excellent seafood restaurant with a nice atmosphere.

    2. b
      balthazar Jan 11, 2007 03:33 AM

      Jov gets good reviews, I have never been there personally.

      Otherwise, the Bayview strip is generally good for casual, lower price point dinners. I eat regularly at Fiesta Azteca (Mexican), Satay on the Road, and Fukui Sushi. Lemongrass is good, I haven't been to Riz or newly opened EAST on Bayview, all of those are Asian-themed. Verdi on Bayview is nice for Italian, one waiter there is a bit snooty and I find some food oily and sometimes hit & miss, but it is OK. I haven't been to the other new place (is it Riviera?) near Manor Road. Haven't been back to Small Talk since having their scrambled eggs with olives that tasted like pizza. For non-ethnic dinner chow on Bavyiew, your other options are Originals (bar-style Tex Mex, OK but not thrilling) or pub grub at McSorleys.

      It sounds like you need to go to Mount Pleasant for what you want. Price point may determine where you go. I've heard good things about Zee Grill on this board but haven't been there.

      My recommendation would be to go to Lolo. It is a nice choice for a group (held a group anniversay dinner there recently), because they have a wide variety of choices including fish (I had salmon there, and it was nice; steak frites was also tasty; they have pastas, etc.) and the price point is reasonable, the service was good. The food at Lolo is not especially unusual or unique, but it is well prepared and usually everyone can find something they like. Setting also appeals to a wide range - it is classy but not stuffy, you could wear a suit or jeans and either would seem fine. Do make a reservation, since the space is not large.

      Across the Road is also a nice spot with a varied menu - I haven't been there in a few years but I enjoyed eating there.

      If Chinese food is OK with you and also a higher price point, try Lai Toh Heen for a wide range of dishes including fish. The also often have special dinner prix fixe menus - you'd have to stop by to check it out since they don't have a website up yet.

      Positano on Mt. Pleasant is nice for Italian food, I don't know if they serve fish.

      In terms of very casual, there is pub grub at The Longest Yard, and of course Penrose Fish & Chips but there the range of "cuisine" is not wide at all.

      1. spigot Jan 11, 2007 04:14 AM

        Why don't you want to go back to Celestin? I'm curious because it's on my list; I just haven't gotten there for dinner yet...

        5 Replies
        1. re: spigot
          balthazar Jan 11, 2007 04:21 AM

          Actually I'm curious too. I've been to Celestin a few times and very much liked it. Did you have a bad experience?

          1. re: balthazar
            Attknee Jan 11, 2007 01:47 PM

            Actually, the problem with Celestin for me was not the food, it was the attitude. From the requirement for a credit card number when I made the reservation, which has now become more common but was a first for me when I made the reservation, to the somewhat frosty welcome when we arrived to a server with the proverbial "pickle" you know where, the experience had a negative start. This was a few years ago and maybe it deserves another chance, but first impressions are important and there are many other good restaurants in this City where I have been made to feel more welcome.

            1. re: Attknee
              balthazar Jan 11, 2007 08:51 PM

              Oh, interesting. I have only been there the last year and found the service friendly. Might be worth a try back there - if you go, try it on a normal night and not during the 'licious festivals. (I did go once during a 'licious event and it was fine, but to be safe...)

              1. re: Attknee
                spigot Jan 12, 2007 12:53 AM

                Thanks for replying, Attknee. I've felt that way too - warmth for sure goes a long way to making my experience a positive one. Pony, Scaramouche -even that slightly nutty blonde lady at Bandito's- I like friendliness :-)

                1. re: Attknee
                  dinner4one Feb 5, 2007 12:26 PM

                  Perhaps you went during a summer/winterlicious event. If you can afford it go again! You'll love it!

            2. c
              camp1980 Jan 11, 2007 01:54 PM

              I had a really nice dinner at Camerini's on Mount Pleasant a few months ago. Very small restaurant and everything tasted homemade. If you go I recommend the grilled calamari. It was the highlight of the evening. Also found the place very reasonably priced. Dinner for 4 with 2 apps was $100, none of us drank wine, so I don't know what the wine list was like.

              2 Replies
              1. re: camp1980
                bogie Jan 11, 2007 05:02 PM

                I think I was the first to post here re: Camerini's. Their complimentary bruschetta, grilled calamari and huge homemade pastas have made it a favourite for my wife and I. Also, it is a family-run restaurant with real heart and soul.

                1. re: bogie
                  kasey j miller Jan 11, 2007 05:10 PM

                  I was at Camarinin a few years ago and had a terrible experience. The waiter was rude and when my credit card bill came, they had charged my card three days in a row.

              2. kawarthagirl Jan 11, 2007 02:12 PM

                I have to say Zee Grill too!

                3 Replies
                1. re: kawarthagirl
                  spaetzle Jan 11, 2007 05:42 PM

                  I'd 3rd Zee Grill.
                  Allo Bistro was also quite good the last time I visited.

                  1. re: spaetzle
                    kawarthagirl Jan 11, 2007 06:37 PM

                    We had a horrendously mediocre experience at Allo Bistro...twice! But Zee Grill, the last three visits, has been excellent - planning to go again in a few weeks...

                    1. re: kawarthagirl
                      nummanumma Jan 12, 2007 01:16 PM

                      Allo is gone now- sorry. Turned into a thai place. :(

                2. estufarian Jan 11, 2007 04:09 PM

                  My standard is Cafe Pleiades on Mount Pleasant. This is a neighbourhood "continental" place which is probably 80% repeat customers - everybody seems to know the chef and server by name.
                  Good food, great value, reasonable prices.

                  1. sloweater Jan 12, 2007 02:28 AM

                    Try JOV Bistro on Bayview; Masayuki Tamaru is a great chef!

                    Try Lai Toh Heen on Mt Pleasant; high end chinese.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sloweater
                      nummanumma Jan 12, 2007 01:18 PM

                      If you'd go over to Yonge in that same strip you've got better choices, imho- Zucca, Quince, Mirabelle (for drinks probably)...Tabule is not high end but is pretty good; however, it doesn't really fit what you're looking for. Zucca and Quince generally both do whole fish.

                      1. re: nummanumma
                        gorge_ous Feb 5, 2007 12:44 PM

                        I second nummanumma re: Zucca or Quince on Yonge. Quince is the newest in the area and all the meals I have had there have been excellent. Its a great space, also, with a nice vibe. Fantastic price point too. You can dine really well without spending too much. And they have a nice selection of wines by both the glass and the half glass so you can do some creative wine pairing with several courses if you wish. Highly recommended!

                    2. Googs Jan 12, 2007 01:27 PM

                      Make that six votes for Zee Grill. It isn't just Italian places that are family run dontcha know? Husband chef, wife sommelier.

                      1. d
                        downtown Jan 12, 2007 05:19 PM

                        For Thai, Lemongrass is my favourite over both Satay on the Road and Riz. Their soups are to die for, really delicate flavours. Finish it off with a stroll up to Hollywood Gelato, of course!

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: downtown
                          kawarthagirl Jan 12, 2007 06:46 PM

                          What is with that Hollywood Gelato place?!? I can't believe people line up for gelato... Is it really that good?

                          1. re: kawarthagirl
                            downtown Jan 12, 2007 07:28 PM

                            Is it the best I have ever had? No. Is it the best in Toronto? Doubtful. Is it really really good? Yes. Is it worth standing in line for? Why not, what's your rush?

                            How's that?

                            1. re: downtown
                              TorontoJo Jan 12, 2007 09:00 PM

                              I have to chime in and say that it's certainly one of the best in Toronto (I've haven't found any gelato that I like better). The flavours are really pure (in the sense that they taste like what they're named), the texture is great and it's not overly sweet. Yummy!

                              1. re: TorontoJo
                                Full tummy Jan 12, 2007 09:09 PM

                                TorontoJo, which other gelato places have you tried?

                                1. re: Full tummy
                                  TorontoJo Jan 12, 2007 09:12 PM

                                  Solefrino, Soma and La Paloma. Hollywood wins in my taste book. I did like the flavours at Soma, but the gelato was frozen too hard. Same experience at Solefrino. Didn't care for La Paloma (might have been due the hype prior to going).

                              2. re: downtown
                                embee Jan 12, 2007 09:12 PM

                                It's not the best I've ever had, but it's certainly a contender for best in Toronto.

                            2. re: downtown
                              minto Jan 13, 2007 11:13 PM

                              I've been to Lemongrass twice and each time I got attitude from the female server/hostess(Owner?). I would never go back.

                              As with other replies, I really enjoy the food at Zee Grill.

                              1. re: minto
                                downtown Jan 15, 2007 03:34 PM

                                I will give you that, the service at Lemongrass isn't exactly open-armed. Same for Riz. However, when the food is as good as it has been there, and at a reasonable price, I can forgive it enough to continue to go once in a while.

                            3. j
                              justlogic Jan 13, 2007 12:19 AM

                              I go out all the time pretty to any restaurant I want. Lots of good ones in this area. For something different try thechefupstairs http://www.thechefupstairs.com/ . You can pick your own menu or advise on what you like and the chef David Rennie makes it for you. I went there with 9 friends and we had a private room and had a blast. Venison, foi gras, and a Sommelier pairing the wines. Everyone of the discerning group loved it. It is a bit more work planning the menu but a lot of fun if you are into that sort of thing.

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